Azerbaijan, Baku/ Trend , corr. S. Aghayeva/ During the today's press-conference dedicated to the results of his visit to Azerbaijan, Robert Simmons, the Special Envoy of the NATO Secretary General to South Caucasus, has stated that Azerbaijan has not expressed a wish to join the Euro-Atlantic Alliance.
According to him, Azerbaijan is still restricting itself with cooperation within the NATO Individual Partnership Plan. "NATO is open for everybody," noted the NATO diplomat, and added that the Alliance was ready to discuss wishes of all candidates on joining the Organization with both the NATO member-states and Russia, which earlier opposed the expansion of the Alliance.
Mr. Simmons noted that the Alliance had established successful and trusted relations with Azerbaijan. The NATO official noted that the first two-year stage of cooperation, which had been based on the four directions, had been concluded: "Common values, strict reforms, extraordinary, civil planning, and projecting, and public diplomacy". According to him, both the appraisal of the first and projecting of the next one are expected to take in Brussels soon.
Mr. Simmons positively evaluated bilateral cooperation within the project on utilization of jet fuel "Melange" and project "Salioghlu".
According to the NATO diplomat, the NATO leadership welcomes Azerbaijan's participation in peacekeeping operations carried out in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Moreover, Mr. Simmons also noted that the Alliance would only welcome Azerbaijan's expanding its making contribution in Afghanistan. According to him, all decisions of that kind will depend only on the Azerbaijani Authorities.